single-channel video with sound, light stands, wood, footnote
(a text to be placed in a variable manner)
3 minutes 36 seconds
Les Samouraïs takes the opening scene from the French film classic, Le Samouraï (1967), by Jean-Pierre Melville. Through image and sound, an alteration is made to Melville’s original with the addition of one more bird to the opening scene. The simple gesture foils the film’s theme of isolation and interiority while fictitiously modifying an occurrence within historical reality.
Melville wrote, directed, and edited his films in Studios Jenner, situated in the 13th arrondissement in Paris. While finishing Le Samouraï, the studio was destroyed by a fire, and the bird from the film was the only casualty of the accident.
The film moves through the pending death of Alain Delon’s character—an assassin who adheres to a life of solitude and detachment. In the opening scene he finishes a cigarette in bed, walks over to the bird, and then puts on his trench coat and hat before closing the door behind him to face the world outside. The only creature he truly connects with is his pet bird, a caged female finch that lives with him in his modest apartment.